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My Encounter with Amtrak Veterans Unit 42

plus a morning at San Clemente Pier 11/17/2013

by Chris Guenzler

Thanks to a post on by HoggerMatt about Amtrak Veterans Unit 42 heading to Los Angeles, I knew what I was going to do early Sunday morning. I arose early and checked the Amtrak train status, learning that the westbound Southwest Chief was due into Fullerton at 7:42 AM today so I left the house and drove to the station's south parking lot then went up onto the pedestrian bridge over the BNSF mainlines to wait. I had a red over yellow signal on Track 3 so knew there was a BNSF freight train coming.

BNSF 7473 East made its way through Fullerton this morning. I soon had a green signal on Track One and then heard a familiar horn heading my way.

The Southwest Chief, train 3, arrived with Amtrak Veterans Unit P42DC 42 as the trailing unit. I walked down to the Track 3 platform to get some more pictures.

Amtrak Veterans Unit P42DC 42.

America's Railroad Salutes Our Veterans was the slogan on the side of this unique engine. I walked over to the west of Harbor Boulevard bridge for pictures as the train left Fullerton.

The Southwest Chief was ready to depart.

The Southwest Chief on its way out of Fullerton. I returned home to get some Coca-Cola for my trip to San Clemente this morning then drove to the Santa Ana station, bought my Sunday weekend pass and waited for Amtrak Pacific Surfliner 564 for Irvine.

Metrolink 661, dead-heading to San Clemente, went through Santa Ana at 8:11 AM so it would leave San Clemente late. It had to go to CP Songs in order to get a green signal to head back north. In fact, all Metrolink movements this weekend had to follow this plan.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner 564 arrived for a fast trip down to Irvine, which was as far as it was going this weekend. If you wanted to go further south, you needed to take a bus for Amtrak passengers. I would wait here for Metrolink 857 to the San Clemente Pier.

Metrolink 857 arrived to pick me up for my trip to San Clemente Pier. We went as far as CP Avery and waited 16 minutes for the late-running Metrolink 661 and from there, made our stops at San Juan Capistrano, North Beach and San Clemente Pier, where I detrained, walked out onto the pier and set up for my first pictures from here.

Metrolink 857 was still stopped at the pier before departing for CP Songs.

Metrolink 857 departed and next would be the deadhead move of Metrolink 859 from CP Songs to Laguna Niguel.

The deadhead move of Metrolink 859 through San Clemente.

Dana Point on a beautiful mid-November Sunday.

Metrolink 860 came to its stop at San Clemente Pier.

Two views of the train.

Metrolink 860 departing for CP Songs.

The pier before I walked south to the T Street pedestrian bridge over the Surfline.

I found a bench to wait on and took a picture of the bridge.

Metrolink 859 arrived.

Metrolink 859 departed for CP Songs and I walked back over to the station but had one more picture to take first.

The former Santa Fe Railway San Clemente sign looking as good as ever. I walked over to the pier station and sat down.

First, deadheading Metrolink 859 from CP Songs on its way to Laguna Niguel came through.

Next Metrolink 665 arrivedand I boarded for my trip home to Santa Ana.

The train departed San Clemente Pier and I was on my way home.

My favorite American Flag flying in the breeze this very late morning. All too soon we were back in Santa Ana, where I detrained.

Metrolink 665 departed to Los Angeles and I headed home. It had been a great Sunday morning with trains in Southern California.